The Honors Program in Economics provides qualified students with several different pathways to graduating with ‘Honors in Economics’ or with ‘High Honors in Economics,’ each of which are outlined below.
To be eligible for the Program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.3 in courses counting toward the major (excluding ECON 1, ECON 10, and MATH 3), and an overall grade point average of at least 3.0. Additionally, in order to be eligible for ‘High Honors,’ a student must take ten major courses (beyond prerequisites), rather than just the nine courses required for a standard or ‘Honors’ major.
Majors enrolled in a 60-level course or in ECON 80 or ECON 82 (“80-level”) whose research papers for that course are deemed of exceptional merit by the instructor, and who are otherwise eligible for the Program, shall be granted ‘Honors in Economics” with no additional coursework necessary. No more than two students per section may be granted ‘Honors’ in this way without a vote of the department. Students may subsequently enroll in ECON 87 and extend their research from the 60 or 80-level course in order to be eligible for ‘High Honors.’ Failure to enroll in or to complete ECON 87 will not forfeit the original ‘Honors’ designation. Additional students meeting requirements for the Program whose major paper in their 60 or 80-level course is considered to have excellent potential to develop further into a thesis may also be invited to enroll in ECON 87 to become eligible for either ‘Honors’ or ‘High Honors.’
An additional method of earning ‘Honors’ is to complete the ECON 80-81-82 sequence with an average grade of B+ and having received a grade of A- or better in each of the prerequisite classes (i.e. ECON 20, ECON 21 and ECON 22). The instructors of this sequence may additionally recommend that students who have done such outstanding work in these courses that it would achieve the ‘Honors’ designation by the method described above be granted ‘High Honors’ by vote of the Department, provided the student has completed ten major courses (beyond prerequisites).
A final, more traditional method of achieving ‘Honors’ or ‘High Honors’ is by initiating a research project in ECON 85 and then writing an Honors thesis (ECON 87) in the senior year. Prior to enrolling in ECON 85 or ECON 87, the student must have the written approval of the vice chair and of a faculty member in the economics department who is willing to act as an adviser. The adviser would usually be a professor whose own research interests lie in the area in which the student wants to work. Students following this path will be expected to have taken all courses relevant to their topic prior to enrollment in ECON 85.
Both regular majors and modified majors who wish to enroll in ECON 87 will be expected to have taken all courses relevant to their topic prior to enrollment. For those enrolling in ECON 87, an average grade of B+ (3.33) or better in ECON 85 and ECON 87, or the 60-level course and 87 for that approach to developing the Honors thesis, will entitle the student to graduate with ‘Honors in Economics.’ A vote of the Department is necessary to achieve ‘High Honors in Economics,’ along with one additional major course beyond those required for the standard or ‘Honors’ major. The Department will consider the student’s performance on the thesis and his or her record in Economics courses in awarding ‘High Honors.’